E.P. Carrillo’s new ultra-premium limited edition that celebrates the Zodiac calendar is on its way to retailers in multiple markets around the globe, including a limited amount that are heading to U.S. stores.

The release is called Aura E.P. Carrillo Shengxiao Limited Edition, and features 12 cigars per box, each one a unique blend that is inspired by the 12 animal symbols of the Zodiac calendar, or Shengxiao in Mandarin. Each cigar is presented in a 6 1/8 x 52 torpedo vitola, with the individual tobaccos hand-selected by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo and aged for a minimum of five years. The cigars are then packaged in a handcrafted mahogany box that includes a humidifier and a set of cards detailing each cigar blend and its corresponding animal personality.

The release was developed in collaboration with Cigar Specialist International, a distributor based in Singapore.

“Aura E.P. Carrillo positions the brand in the highly coveted super premium segment in Asia Pacific,” said Jose de Castro, ceo of Cigar Specialist, in a press release. “We are excited with our collaboration. Ernesto captured the essence of each animal in the Chinese Zodiac (Shengxiao) with blending only he knows how.”

de Castro told halfwheel that the Aura has arrived in South Africa, while the initial batch of shipments to the U.S. have just begun arriving. Retailers in Asia and Europe are expected to receive the cigars within the next 10 days. Of the 2,500 boxes that were produced, 1,500 boxes are being released to retailers in Asia, while 450 are being made available to U.S. retailers, and the remaining 500 are being offered to retailers in Europe and South Africa.

Pricing will vary by individual market, but the MSRP is listed at $1,000 per box, or $83.33 per cigar.

Images courtesy of E.P. Carrillo.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.